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Just some of my books!

This weekend is Fur The More 2018 in Tysons Corner, Virginia, and I’ll be there! Most of the time you’ll find me in the Artist Alley, with copies of issue six (“Ready to Rumble!”) and the first Rough Housing collection “Giant Enemy Crab!”.

Sunday morning will also be the first running of my new panel, “Passing for Human.” Drawing on my training as a success coach (and backed with a lifetime of experience convincing people that I am in fact a human being), the panel will cover the basics of meeting new people and making friends, how to handle yourself in public situations, and how to build positive and healthy relationships while avoiding some of the traps that can afflict a fandom. It will also address positive ways to meet and interact with artists and other creators within the fandom, as well as avenues to get out there and become the sort of person other fans will want to meet.

So in you’re in the Washington D.C. area, I hope you’ll come on by! My panel is Sunday morning at 10:30 in the Madison meeting room, and the rest of the time, you’ll find me in Artist Alley. See you there!

-The Gneech

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Like the video, this month is going to be epic.

Why? Because in February I have to do ALL THE THINGS. O.o

What things specifically? Oh, just...

  • Finding and taking on at least four new coaching clients

  • Completing my monthly practice areas for next month's training weekend

  • A page of Suburban Jungle every week

  • A big commission for Joey Gatorman

  • A smaller-but-still-important commission for Fzygal

  • Art for the AC conbook

  • Oh yeah, I have a job at Barnes & Noble, don't I?

These are the things that I need to do this month. In terms of what I want to do this month, I have a piece of Valentine's Day art that I want to do for a) fun and b) as the start of this mysterious NSFW art project I have been hinting around about in certain circles, and at some point Jamie and Inkblitz are going start giving me the side-eye if I don't, y'know, run some more D&D myself. >.> ^.^'

The keys to getting all this done are going to be timing, focus, and perseverance, with a healthy dose of scheduling breaks in to make sure I don't burn out. I can't take on coaching clients until Accomplishment Coaching finishes setting up my billing information, so while I'm waiting on that anyway, it's time to crank on art. Joey Gatorman commission has been in the queue for the longest, but as long as I send him WIPs, I should be able to get the Valentine's Day piece done on Thursday, and so forth.

However! That does mean that a lot of my go-to time wasters are going to have to go to the curb, including (but not limited to) Twitter and Tumblr, places where I am prone to just shutting off my brain and absorbing the way previous generations would just lie in bed in front of the TV all night (but all the more insidious because you can take it wherever you go).

So if I seem quiet or remote in the next few weeks, that's what's up. Feel free to toss me an e-mail or DM if you need anything or just want to chat! ♥ I'm not becoming a hermit, just crunching against multiple deadlines.

-The Gneech
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Suburban Jungle (Starring Tiffany Tiger) for July 22, 2005

Not the R63 version of Rarity, although I'd be happy with that, too.

So, the past several weeks have been bonkers. Got a new job (Barnes & Noble), moved back to Virginia from Maryland, spent four days in Chicago for Midwest Furfest, and then had an unexpected (but welcome) visitor come spend the night at our place over the weekend. I haven't looked at my hours, but I do know that of the 12 days I've had off since mid-November, six of them were either moving, convention, or Thanksgiving. So I've been pretty harried.

The good side of that, is I've been insulated from all the noise and drama around world events and social media. The bad side of that, is I've been isolated from all my online friends and barely able to work on my writing and art.

Fortunately, now that the moving is done and we begin the long process of unpacking and assembling the house, that particular problem is much reduced. The last single large bit (car paperwork) will probably be dealt with tomorrow, and from then it'll be slow but incremental improvement until the new house is truly a home. It's already got a Christmas tree, the first one we've had in two years, and that is a bigger deal than it sounds.

I'm not to the point where I can get some work done in the morning and then go off to my job in the afternoon/evening yet, but I expect that will start being a thing later this week or early next. Of course, once the holidays come barreling through, the B&N job will either scale back or possibly disappear entirely. But I've got some big things in the works for 2018 that will make everything happening for me job-wise right now seem like the smallest potatoes, and that's going to be pretty awesome. I'll have more updates on that as I get them worked out, or probably by my annual New Year's post.

In the meantime, hey! I'm still here! I'm still creating stuff! And this time I'm not even dodging 16 ton weights! More like spinning 16 hundred plates.

It's an upgrade, man. It's an upgrade.

-The Gneech
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Midwest Furfest 2017 was awesome!

Hello, all you awesome readers, and thanks for your November support! It’s been kind of a nutso month for me… I started a part-time job, moved (AGAIN) for what I hope will be the last time for a while, got about halfway through NaNoWriMo before I had to punt, and of course got Issue Six and the first trade collection done in time for Midwest Furfest. So, yeah, just a little busy there. ^.^’

December is hopefully going to be less frantic, but there will still be some big stuff going on. I’ll be starting work on issue seven, hopefully to begin posting late in the month or in January. I will also keep working on Child of the Tower (and posting it to the writing WIP tier for my Patreon subscribers). Finally, I am looking at creating another Patreon tier for art going in a completely new direction than I have done before, but I don’t want to say too much about that until I’ve got all the kinks worked out.

So tl;dr version, thanks for a great November, and watch for more great stuff coming in December! Thanks, everyone. You rock!

-The Gneech

PS: Commission Queue as of December 7, 2017!

  • LKCMSL NaNo cover. Paid: Yes; Due: ASAP

  • Redliox/Blue Shenanigans, again! Paid: No; Due: Dec/Jan

  • Joey Gatorman SJ AU. Paid: No; Due: TBD


    the_gneech: (Default)
    ...because that's pretty much what a hangover actually is. :P

    I bring this up because despite my many and various attempts at getting fluids into my system over the past four days, last night I finally reached the Dehydration Headache stage, and have been camped there. Owie. I hoped that Drinking All the Water and getting some sleep would fix it, but no such luck. So this morning I broke down and bought the last packet of Advil from the hotel shop, on top of getting All the Rest of the Water with my breakfast. Here's hoping.

    Yesterday was a good con day. :) Arrived early for the Artist Alley check-in, so sat and chatted a bit with Brian Reynolds, then caught a few extra Z's until the room opened. The Alley's population was rather depleted, a symptom of Sunday I suppose, but the spot next to me was open all day, so I took advantage of this to spread out enough to have my pens up on the table.

    [As I type this: a couple of self-satisfied non-convention business bros going on about all the "animal weirdos walking around last night" at the other end of the Starbucks bench, whipping each other into a frenzy and talking smack like the furries were trying to pick a fight just by existing. -.- Geeze Louise, shut your dumb faces and go away.]

    Anyway! I sold a handful of books and a couple of sketches, but the room closed early for Sunday. Seifer and I headed over to closing ceremonies, which was the usual verklempt-a-thon. MFF raised over $85,000 for their charity this year, something like $12,000 of it right there in the closing ceremonies as Alkali passed his big ol' hat around the room. They also announced that Rama Lion was taking over as the con chair next year, and that Kyell Gold was going to be one of next year's GOH's, so that's cool. :)

    The rest of the night was basically Seif, Inkblitz and I wandering from food to Dead Dog Dance to people-watching spot, chatting about fandom history, fursuiting trends, and whatever else came to mind, with a guest appearance by Zia, who added Mage: The Ascension to the mix. (Apparently Zia's a fan of the Physiognomizer from Technomancer's Toybox, which pleased me. I was always proud of that one.)

    [Update: Business bros are still flapping their gums, but they moved out of my immediate earshot at least. Oy.]

    Flight home is sometime around noon, so once I finish my breakfast it's pretty much pack and go. I've got notes and ideas on what to do for AnthroCon to improve sales and make the table go smoother, and I'm looking forward to it. But in the meantime I'm looking forward to getting home to [personal profile] laurie_robey, the kitties, and my own bed. XD

    -The Gneech


    Dec. 3rd, 2017 07:13 am
    the_gneech: (Default)
    So when Nyxsern said "You're all set!" on Friday night, she meant that I was in the Artist Alley lottery for Saturday, not actually IN the Artist Alley. Thus, yesterday morning, I dutifully packed up all my stuff and schlepped it over there only to discover that Oops! I was on the wait list. *sad trombone*

    I lurked around and moped [1] about that for a bit, but in the intervening time my one commissioner popped up and I delivered his book, and I decided that, as I had been planning to bug out of the Alley at 2:30 for [personal profile] inkblitz's panel anyway, I might as well just punt on the Alley all together and actually GO to the convention. So stuff was schlepped back to room and off I went.

    In the Dealer Room, I did some Christmas shopping, and also connected with FurPlanet. When asked how the con was going, Teiran informed me it had been full of snafus, to which my response was, "YOU TOO?" On the good front, they sold out of Rough Housing Volume One, so I guess I'm gonna have to get my author's copy later. ;) Blitzy and I then checked out the Fursuit Menagerie [2], where Blitzy actually knew more people than me for a change. I got to see Babs in her fursuit, and of course she was just as adorable as you might expect.

    Blitzy's "Becoming a Better Roleplayer" went off well, only slightly hindered by the noisy hallway outside and uncooperative Google Docs notes. From there, I caught up with Vince and Dev outside the dealer den and bounced back and forth between them, the FurPlanet guys, or both. We had the obligatory Chicago deep dish (a curious entity halfway between quiche and lasagna which the locals stubbornly insist on referring to as pizza) and had much geeky discussion of movies, superheroes, and superheroes in movies.

    Rounded off the evening with some people-watching with Vince and Exatron in the Hyatt lobby, and then back to the hotel where I gave Seifer a crash course in Furry History 101 and we talked about God, alternate universes, and other mind-blowing topics until 1:00 a.m.

    It was a good day. :)

    Today, I am officially confirmed to be in the Artist Alley (double-checked!), so I'll be back there, hopefully drawin' my little arm off. Sadly, never could connect to AxiomAxiom and CargoWeasel. Despite all our DMs back and forth, I only have their word for it that they were ever even here! ;P [3]

    Back to Virginia tomorrow!

    -The Gneech

    [1] You ever notice that moped (past tense of "mope") and moped (motorized bicycle) look exactly the same in text?

    [2] As the cons get larger and larger (MFF and AC keep leapfrogging each other as "largest furcon ever"), fursuit parades have just become unmanageable. So MFF cordons off the main ballroom and hall outside of it and shoves all the fursuiters there for photo shoots and everyone who wants to see all the suits can go there and watch.

    [3] That would be a very effective, if weird, way to troll someone. Pretend to be at a con and constantly text people, "I'm in the main lobby by the elevators! Where the heck are you???"
    the_gneech: (Jeeves satisfaction)
    The deprivations of Thursday night paid off in getting an Artist Alley space yesterday; I plunked down next to Brian Reynolds, picked up my books from FurPlanet, and set up. I immediately had one person ask if they could take a picture of my table setup ("Uh, sure?") and another tell me how much he respected the work anyone put into making comics, no matter how simple the art style. ("Uh, thanks?")

    Unfortunately, a miscommunication between me and FurPlanet ended up with only five copies of each book. As a result, issues five and six, the items new to this con, sold out quickly on the first day, kind of a mixed blessing. XD It was great to be able to say something sold out– but as those two items were what I expected to be the big money-makers for this con, I might be screwed as far as sales go.

    Commissions were dry. I had one come in late, so I gave it my all. There's some kind of weird energy going on about my art, because once again I had lots of people tell me how cool and appealing it was... but then walk away sketchless. But I also made sure that everyone I could get to take one had a card for the Suburban Jungle site and hopefully will pick up some new readers if nothing else.

    Wound down the evening by having dinner with Blitzy, Trixie, and Seif, then checking out the art show, which seemed to be missing about 1/3 of its intended content. I heard rumors of problems with setup, or something, and that there was quite a kerfluffle about the whole thing, but I don't know any details.

    Sleep without the CPAP is, as predicted, a challenge. :P By strategically propping myself onto my side or stomach with pillows making it difficult for me to roll over, I did manage to catch a few hours of uninterrupted sleep between spurts of waking up without air. I remember having an interesting dream that featured Hugh Grant playing Bertie Wooster in a strangely-smooth interpretation of the character, and that my review of said performance was that while Four Weddings and a Funeral was probably the most legitimate modern descendant of Jeeves & Wooster, Hugh Grant just did not make a good Bertie.

    Anyway! Today will be a shorter stint in the Alley, leaving early to help [personal profile] inkblitz with his roleplaying panel; dinner plans for tonight are going out with Vince, Dev, and various members of the FurPlanet crew, so that should be cool.

    It's been a wonky MFF! But I'm glad to be here and to see my friends. :)

    -The Gneech
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    After a week of work-packing-work-packing-work-moving-work-unpacking, punctuated by lots of sitting in traffic jams on the Beltway/I-270, [personal profile] laurie_robey and I managed to get moved, and I even made my flight to MFF.

    Forgot my CPAP. D'Oh. >.> That's going to make sleeping a challenge.

    Got installed in the room and connected with Inkblitz, Trixie, and Seifer, as well as encountering Exatron, and we all headed off to the prereg line, which was huge and took an hour to get through... only to be told they didn't have a registration for me. ¬.¬

    Checking my e-mail for confirmation was no help, as I couldn't find one. So either a) I forgot to register, or b) the registration didn't go through and I didn't notice not getting a confirmation. Muttergrump! I booked travel and hotel, is it really conceivable I didn't register the con? I guess. I dunno. I used to have a pre-con checklist for just this sort of thing, but I stopped using them because I hadn't had this kind of thing pop up in years. Guess I need to go back to it!

    So grabbed food and then it was back to the on-site reg line, where I stayed for what I estimate was three hours. Given the shape my back has been in after all the standing at the cash register at B&N, I could barely walk by the end... but I survived. I'm grateful to Exatron for keeping me company the whole time– he basically waited through both lines too even tho he didn't have to. XD

    The CPAPless night was on the rough side; I doubt I got more than 45-60 minutes of uninterrupted sleep through the whole thing. But I was still able to sleep-until-I-woke-up, instead of jumping out of bed early to go get moving-plus-work done, so I still ended up pretty decently rested, for which I'm grateful.

    So now it's on with my day! The reason I stuck out the line last night was so I could have a badge number to get into the Artist Alley lottery for today, which opens in just a few minutes. (The alley itself doesn't open until 1 p.m.) So, having finished my breakfast and done my report, I'd better get on off to that.

    CYA soon!

    -The Gneech
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    So, last week was a challenge. >.> Messed up sleep, a cat-in-crisis (Lady) dropped in our lap, job hunt frustration, and a general lack of fucks to give led to me basically chucking everything out the window (everything I could chuck, anyhow) and playing video games. (Other than Overwatch, because that particular game is often the opposite of relaxing.)

    However, I only let myself do that with the promise that I would be back to work on Monday and get things done that need to be done. So step one is: organize! Thus, the Too Much To Do List for the next two weeks:

    1. Do some kind of workout.

    2. Take a shower and get dressed.

    3. Issue six page nine

    4. Job applications

    5. Blacktigr commission

    6. Overwatch competitive stream/Mastering Mercy vid

    7. Mooncat Timey-Wimey badge

    8. LKCMSL Timey-Wimey badge

    9. Graveyard Greg IBMBA commish (NOTE: send bill for this)

    10. PTBAF panel agenda

    11. Print for AC: button restocks, Best Bodies Contest flyer, Timey-Wimey badges

    12. BtA YouTube banner

    13. BtA Patreon banner

    14. Read books for Rainbow Awards

    Right ho. Time to get started.

    -The Gneech
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    For my own reference...


    1. Friday PotG paid: yes; due: asap

    2. SnickerDoodle PotG paid: yes; due: asap

    3. Oshi PotG paid: yes; due: asap

    4. BlackTigr Ref Sheet paid: yes; due: "when ready"

    5. Graveyard Greg IBMB paid: no; due: June 30

    6. Alexa Timey-Wimey Badge paid: yes; due: AnthroCon

    Other Art

    1. BtA Twitch Banner due: May 17

    2. BtA YouTube Banner due: "when ready"

    3. BtA Patreon Banner due: "when ready"

    4. Timey-Wimey Badge Template due: May 26

    5. Timey-Wimey Badge Flyer due: May 26

    6. Gneech/BtA Business Card due: May 31

    7. SJ Business Card due: May 31

    I think that's everything. I sure hope so. O.o

    -The Gneech
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    AnthroCon of Their Own movie parody poster

    A fun little piece I submitted to the AnthroCon 2017 conbook to fit the theme “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” There’s a lot more going on in the “League of Their Own” movie poster than first meets the eye. O.o

    -The Gneech

    the_gneech: (Default)

    Commission prices by type and size.

    (click through for full size)

    Trying to make my prices a little more easy-to-calculate and a little less “pulled a number out of Buster’s shell.” 😀 Subscribers to my Patreon get a 5% discount.

    When not at conventions, I can still sell the books and buttons but they’re easier to get through their respective publishers:



    Enjoy! 🙂

    -The Gneech

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    Fandom Guy loves you! And fish. He also loves fish.

    Skip a week for the holidays, and suddenly I have a billion things to talk about! Let’s jump right in!

    The Gneech on a surfboard shape with the title Bringin' the Awesome

    So you remember I wasn’t satisfied with the “Three Lions and an Otter” motif because it was too close to M.C.A. Hogarth’s “Three Jaguars?” Sure ya do, it’s like the next post down from here. Anyway! I happened to be looking at my LinkedIn page and noticed a little thing I had dropped into my bio: “I’m all about bringin’ the awesome.”

    Well… yeah. 😀

    So that’s gonna be my thing. Expect a lot more bringin’ the awesome in 2017! The three lions and an otter are still there– they’re how I organize my workflow and my thoughts– but they’ll probably fade into the background a bit.

    Commission Price Reorganization

    My last price list update was in the summer and was pretty vague and incomplete. Pricing your own art is always tough– it’s kinda like a magic trick, and knowing how it’s done makes you forget the work and practice that actually went into it. I was told by a few artists I respect that I was undercharging, and I think it may have actually been hurting my sales, if the table at Midwest Furfest is an indicator.

    So this is a heads-up, my prices will be going up a bit later this month, but they’ll also be more clearly defined, so it’ll be easier to look at what I offer, compare it to your budget, and decide what’s right for you.

    “Learn To Use Copics” Sale!

    Also! Part of my holiday splurge was to pick up something I’ve wanted for a while now: I bought myself twenty shiny new Copic markers, and I’m itching to learn how to use them! So in a week or two I’m going to open up slots for full-color real-media commissions at a crazy discount price, with the proviso that your piece will be a guinea pig for Copic practice, so the colors might be a little all-over-the-map. XD

    Streaming Is a Thing!

    The Gneech Streaming on TigerdileSo I have settled on Tigerdile as my streaming service of choice, and they’ve been pretty great so far. They’ve been responsive and friendly, and the site has a lot of nice features, with more coming in the new year. I’ll be streaming pretty regularly on Monday, Tuesday, and/or Wednesday nights, starting around 7:30 p.m. EST, working on commissions, the next comic page, or whatever else happens to be going on at any given time.

    Phew! I think that’s everything for now? If not, I’ll let you know. 😉 Thanks for reading, and stay awesome!

    -The Gneech

    the_gneech: (Boot to the Head)
    Okay. So, we all know. Let's get it out of the way.

    John Oliver blows up 2016

    Yeah, 2016 pretty much blew chunks in a lot of ways. Thing is, it started out so well! I thought 2014 was the worst things were going to get, 2015 was the beginning of an upward climb, and that 2016 was going to be awesome. Then everything went pear-shaped, starting with our moving plans. Then Buddha died... and from there it was a nearly-unrelenting sea of crap that culminated in the Worst Possible Result in the election. I used to joke about not wanting to live in 1930s Germany. I don't joke about that any more.

    For the record, some good things DID happen in 2016, and there's evidence that 2017 will be better. So even though things have been rough, just wallowing in it isn’t going to help. Since the end of November, I have been making a concerted effort to wedge positivity back into my life by any means possible, and it is working, even if there is a lot of resistance from a world determined to set itself on fire. But more on that in the Goals for 2017 part of the post. For now, let's review the goals I set at the beginning of the year.

    1. Issues Four and Five, Plus the First Collection. Partial success. Issue four is out and issue five is running currently, after moving and story development heck. This will be finished in early 2017, assuming all goes well.

    2. Publish That Book! Still working on it. I've received a fair amount of positive feedback from the various agents etc. I've shopped it around to, but so far it hasn't found a home. I'm going to keep at it until it sells or I run out of potential markets. If it gets to that point, I'll look at self-publishing.

    3. Finish Another Book! Didn't happen. Had to punt mid-NaNoWriMo, but I'll get back to it in 2017.

    4. Get the Money Sitch Fixed. Didn't happen. Despite being a very strong candidate, [ profile] lythandra went to trainings and applied for jobs and talked to headhunters and out of all that got a few tiny nibbles and only one offer– which was immediately cancelled a few days later due to the contract being disputed. I hung out my shingle as a freelance/tech writer but so far have spent most of my time on that front turning down such lucrative offers as "Write ten full length novels for us to sell without giving you any residuals or credit for $35,000/year." So, still living on savings and what income the comics and art bring in, but we have plans in motion. (See below.)

    5. Move. Um. Happened, yes. But not the way we wanted. It needs fixing still/again.

    6. Get Back to Conventions! Eh... sort of. AC and MFF happened again. We also went to a steampunk meet in PA, but we had to punt on FurTheMore and Dragon*Con for financial and/or scheduling reasons. I expect 2017 to be different, however.

    7. Stronger faster slimmer better. Big setbacks here. Depression, stress, and a host of other factors meant that in six months I regained all the weight it had taken me two years to get rid of. :P I am not happy about this. The good news is that at the end of November I rejoined Weight Watchers and I have recovered 11 pounds' worth of progress since then, despite the best efforts of convention food and holidays. More significantly I have figured out how to live comfortably on a 35-ish point diet– basically the allocation for someone my age weighing 220 lbs. At my current rate of weight loss, I will hit that in six months, which would suit me just fine.

    8. No More Afib. Success! Heart ablation surgery was a complete success. Since March, I have only experienced afib twice, both of which were in December and seem to have been triggered by salt. As long as I continue to limit my salt intake, I should be set.

    9. Bernie Sanders 2016. Ugh. Don't get me started.

    Now the review post from last year had unexpected things achieved in 2015. Alas, 2016 didn't really have a lot in the way of such things. However, it wasn't entirely bleak. Zootopia was really good, for instance. Also, I got into Overwatch and a fan very kindly built me a terrific computer to run it on, which prompted me to create the Learning Not to Suck at Overwatch series. It didn't exactly set YouTube on fire, but the videos were fun to make and I got to test my mettle in a competitive environment, something which I've never done a lot of. Overwatch also provided my single longest running batch of art commissions, in the form of "Play of the Game" badges. My Overwatchery has been thin since Halloween– other priorities eating my time– but I hope to get back into it in January.

    So that leads me to my goals for 2017...

    1. Issues Five and Six, Plus the First Collection. Five and collection should be done well before AnthroCon. Issue Six, we'll see. I’m thinking of taking the comic in a slightly new direction based on the ending of Issue Five, but that's still in the very half-baked stage so I can't really go into detail yet.

    2. Publish That Book! Like I said, still working on this.

    3. Finish Another Book! I am looking at creating a series specifically for self-pub. More on that as the development fills out some more.

    4. Start a Company. This is a big one that Laurie and I have been messing with off and on again all year, but which is really starting to take shape now. Again, I don't want to talk about it in too much detail before everything is set in motion, all the T's are dotted and I's are crossed, etc., but it's a cool, exciting project designed to put the making of money back into our hands, since getting hired by other people doesn't seem to be a thing that really happens to anyone any more.

    5. Move to California. Okay. So. I thought this was going to happen last year, but for various reasons I kept fairly quiet about it at the time, and then it fell through anyway. It's back on the plan now, and I am not keeping it a secret any more. The exact details are still being hashed out, so you can expect to hear more on this as the year goes on. But part of the reason for the Start a Company item, is to enable living where we want, and since Fed jobs are going to all be utter crap for the next four years or more as the assholes-elect try to burn down the country, there's not a whole lot of point in staying around here for the job market anyway. Our families and some of our friends are here, of course, but we only see them a few times a year as it is– Facetime/Google Hangouts and plane tickets will probably take care of that problem. California is not necessarily the only candidate, we're also looking at some spots around New England for instance, but it is by far the strongest candidate and my top choice unless there is a strongly compelling reason to go elsewhere.

    6. Stronger faster slimmer better. 220 lbs by end of September is the plan. 220 lbs by end of June is the stretch goal.

    7. Bring the Awesome! I was just getting through my grief about my parents when Buddha died, kicking it all off again. I spent most of 2016 in a depression deeper than anything I’ve been through since 2001, although instead of manifesting as "feeling bad," it was more like an emotional dead zone, making it hard to enjoy anything and leaving me in a constant state of "peeved and grouchy for no good reason." That shit's got to go. As I said, since the end of November I've been focusing on positivity, and I'm just going to build on that and do more in 2017.

    8. Edit Myself Less. This one is kind of hard to explain without context and it's more a note to myself than anything. There are aspects of myself that I have simply made a point of not talking about for one reason or another; opinions, feelings, or wishes I have kept to myself when it would have been appropriate to share them, and so on. But honestly? It's not doing myself or the people who care about me any favors. I've had people tell me "I thought I knew you..." before for just this reason. And while I'm a lot more myself now than I used to be, I still get into that self-censorship habit when I’m depressed or afraid. This is something I need to work on. Shoving every thought in your head into other people's faces isn't a good idea– but shutting yourself down just to please other people isn't a healthy choice either. I'm not about to start drawing porn or anything like that, but I am going to be loosening up.

    9. Reverse course and mitigate/repair damage to the country. Grassroots action FTW. They're not going to burn down the country while I have anything to say about it. More on this in some other post.

    [ profile] jamesbarrett's sister Kimmie said that 2016 was the end of a 9-year cycle, which is why there were so many deaths and endings and so much loss, but that also meant that 2017 would be a year of new beginnings. [1] While astrology and numerology are not my particular flavor of crackpottery, I can’t deny that 2016 sure has felt like everything was crumbling around my ears. Not going to California when we originally planned to, which pushed us into the Maryland move, and the death of Buddha all hit me hard. Seeing the end of the first administration in my life that I actually liked the President was going to be tough; seeing him replaced by somebody so obviously The Worst Possible Candidate For the Job just hurts.

    But these things all happened and can't be undone. I've had my disappointment and my grief and my rage. While there may be emotional aftershocks, the end of November made a sea change in Laurie and me, and I am excited and ready for the things we’ve got coming up in the year ahead. If 2017 is indeed the year of new beginnings, let's make it the beginning of something amazing.

    -The Gneech

    [1] This is based on numerology: 2016 breaks down to 2 + 0 + 1 + 6 = 9. 2017 will be 2 + 0 + 1 + 7 = 10, 1 + 0 = 1. Thus 2016 is the end of the current cycle and 2017 is the beginning of the next one.
    the_gneech: (Default)

    Fandom Guy loves you! And fish. He also loves fish.

    So one thing that was made quite clear at the most recent Midwest Furfest is that I’ve really gotta get back in touch with the fandom. Suburban Jungle used to mean room parties and charity auction cameos going for hundreds of dollars, but this past weekend it seemed to be “That comic everybody used to know and remembers fondly.”

    Dude. What am I, the Animaniacs? XD Nostalgia is not my brand!

    Seriously tho, I think a lot of the problem is that as time has gone on, I’ve just gotten out of touch. I met plenty of people at the convention who’d never heard of me or my work, but upon seeing the art were instantly interested in checking it out. So clearly what I’ve got to do is get it front of more eyeballs!

    To that end, I’m working on a retool of my online presence generally, looking for new venues to spread the word and so on. Besides the usual DeviantArt and FurAffinity accounts, I’m going to start posting more of my work on my Tumblr account (which has until now been little more than reblogs), I created a Pinterest board for my art, and I have (finally) started dipping my toes into groups on Telegram.

    Sometime by the end of the year I expect to also start streaming fairly regularly on Monday and/or Tuesday nights as I work on the next comic page. Right now I’m still researching that, looking for artists with successful streams and watching what they do. (If you have faves, let me know! I want to see ALL THE STREAMS.)

    As a general thing, I also just sorta need to get back out into the world. Over the past years I had kinda retreated into a cocoon as I dealt with the slings and arrows being fired at me by outrageous fortune, and I’m finally sticking my head back out. (What did I find? 2016. For cryin’ out loud, world, I hide away for just a few years, and you turn into a dumpster fire? I want you to go sit in the corner and think about what you’ve done while the rest of us clean up this mess.)

    …Er, sorry, what was I saying? Right, getting back in touch with the world. I’ve got a few volunteers who are helping me with that, and I’ll gratefully take any assistance I can get, but nothing replaces me getting out there and taking care of it myself. I need to do a lot more connecting with the world than just posting to LiveJournal and Twitter, and that’s going to be a big priority for me over the next several weeks.

    If anyone has ideas on what I should do, I’d love to hear them! 😀

    -The Gneech

    the_gneech: (Gneechtoon)
    Today: 314.5
    down 5 lbs from my highest weight of 319.5 on November 25, 2016
    down 4.5 lbs from my starting weight of 319 on July 1, 2014
    average lost: 0.03 lbs/week
    next milestone: 303 lbs (5% loss)

    In anticipation of convention eating being problematic at best, I made a point of going lean and rigorously exercising in the week leading up to it. And while I was at MWFF, I tried to make good choices when possible, without obsessing on it. But the unavoidable truth is that in hotels in Chicago? Your dietary choices start at a baseline of "terribad" and go up from there– and there's only so many $5 fruit cups you can snack on.

    Also, Friday was so bad (Did I post about this? I don't remember now.) that to cheer myself up I said, "Screw it, I'm having a piece of cheesecake because I love cheesecake and never have it."

    Points-wise, I still ended the week ahead of the game by virtue of doing ALL the walking, and so even with four days of junk food I still lost a pound. XD It's a minor victory, but it's a victory all the same, and I'll take it.

    Anyway, I'm back home now, and ready to kick butt. For the coming week, I'm going to call 312 a success and 310 my stretch goal. Wish me luck!

    -The Gneech
    the_gneech: (Kero Confused)
    I have awesome friends, and I am grateful for it. :)

    As you may have heard, yesterday was a rough day, art wise. It was in fact my worst convention day in 16 years of being a furry artist. After a full day at the table in Artist Alley (usually where I do best at Midwest Furfest), I had received a total of one commission, and sold one button. My daily total was less than the person next to me was charging (and receiving) for a print.

    It was... odd. I had people stop and say hello, some of whom had fond memories of having read Suburban Jungle in the past, and others who saw the comics for the first time and loved the art style. But then they walked away and bought art from someone else.

    By the time the room closed, I was in a state of exhausted disbelief. As I put it at the time, "Furry fandom, did I do something to you that I just don't know about?" Even my earliest fledgeling attempts to run a table before Kerry joined the scene were never this pitiful.

    But then a strange thing happened; after the room closed, people started wanting commissions. XD My friend Axiom asked for badges, and one of my online readers who has friends attending the con commissioned me on Twitter with the intent of sending them to pick them up at my table today. It wasn't a huge pile of work, but it was something at least, and a nice pump-primer for what will hopefully be a good day today.

    It was a weird day. XD And one that I'm not eager to repeat– the gut-punched feeling I had wandering around after the table closed was not a healthy mindspace– but at the end of the day I was reminded that I am lucky to have friends and fans, and I am going to keep making stuff as awesome as I can.

    -The Gneech
    the_gneech: (Gneechtoon)

    Three Good Things For Today

    1. Wrote almost all of a novel summary for NaNoWriMo. Still needs the last act and chapter/scene breakdowns, but I think I may have the workings of a real book here. ^.^

    2. Submitted dealer table application for AnthroCon.

    3. Actually put up a (very small) Suburban Jungle update for tomorrow.

    4. Bonus Good Thing! TwitterPonies fun. :)

    Three Goals For Tomorrow

    1. Find and apply for three jobs.

    2. Finish novel summary.

    3. Resolve prescriptions weirdness.

    G'nite world, and have an awesome tomorrow. I love ya. <3

    -The Gneech
    the_gneech: (Writing)

    Hey, hey! Every once in a random period, I put up a little post welcoming my new readers and keeping everyone abreast of what’s coming up!

    Welcome New Readers!

    <3 <3 <3

    …Not a lot more to say about that, actually. Got questions? Comments? Suggestions? I’d love to hear ’em, in the comments or via e-mail (thegneech at gmail dot com)! I’d also love to know how you came to be here. Suburban Jungle? Are you a Twitter follower? WHOOOO ARRRRRE YOOOOU?

    Suburban Jungle Issue Five!

    The cover is up! I’m going start drawing pages this week, with my current plan being for the issue to begin running September 5. I’m not going to set that date into stone yet tho, just in case things randomly go pear-shaped, as they have a tendency to do around here.

    Sky Pirates of Calypsitania and NaNoWriMo

    There is some hopeful activity on the novel front! Alas, I can say no more for fear of jinxing it, but I am excited and hope it works out! In the meantime, I am working on an outline for a sequel novel, under the working title of Eternal Promises, with an eye towards writing the actual manuscript (or at least large chunks of it) over the course of NaNoWriMo. (Which means, among other things, I need to get as much of issue five done as possible by the end of October!) Eternal Promises will finally bring the intended-but-never-produced first story from Arclight Adventures to the light of day, which makes me happy.

    Overwatch Play of the Game Badges and Videos

    There are only a few badge commissions left, but I do have a complete “Victory Poses Plus Badges” group commission that I will be trying to finish over August and September. (Because let’s face it, I won’t be drawing enough, right? ¬.¬ ) I only have footage for one more Learning Not to Suck at Overwatch video right now, which will probably go up sometime this week, but I imagine that series will be going for a bit longer. I’d love to know what (if anything) people think of it, beyond the obvious “There’s a watermark on the video and your microphone is wonky.” Think of those elements as… uh… charmingly kitschy? I don’t have the budget to fix them at the moment. 😉

    Convention Schedule

    My next convention will be Midwest Furfest in December, where you should be able to find me in the Artist Alley most of the time. Due to budget constraints, I am currently trying to find someone to take over my Dragon*Con room; if that doesn’t happen, it’s entirely possible I’ll end up going to that as well, even though I really can’t afford it, on the grounds that the money is committed so I might as well enjoy it.

    So that’s the State of the Gneech at the moment. Busy, busy, busy, but creating a lot of stuff that I hope you’ll check out and enjoy. Life is good.

    -The Gneech


    the_gneech: (Kero Power Tie)
    Well, only two weeks later, I can finally write up my thoughts on AnthroCon this year. Although it's tempting to blame age for the increased time it takes me to recover from cons these days, I am prone to put it in the words of Dr. Jones, who said, "It ain't the years, honey, it's the mileage."

    Given that I have been operating on poor sleep, trying to bang out content as quickly as I can while coping with moving (again) and a broken toe, AnthroCon went quite well. ^.^' It was great as always to see Sirfie, Andrew, Kamau, Inkblitzer, T'Chall, Tieran, Zia, Spiritwolf (briefly), and all my other usual con besties, plus meeting new folks. Sales were strong on Friday, dead on Saturday (probably a symptom of the out-of-control parade), and decent on Sunday. The Play of the Game badges were a hit, which is a good thing, because a fair amount of the sales I made were for post-con commissions of them, rather than stuff at the table. If I'd stuck to my usual policy of "no post-con commissions," it would have been another year of lackluster numbers.

    I'm not sure where that puts me in terms of future cons. I'm making mid-2000's money with mid-2010's expenses, which means I'm still slightly ahead of the game but travel takes more of a toll than it used to and as fewer of my old pals go to cons, the less of a party from start to finish it all becomes. Plus, there is a definite generational shift: the time of the internet being a haven for techy people and ham radio nerds from the Radio Shack era is over, and a more mainstream audience is moving in. When Gilbert and Sullivan references and jokes about object permanence go over the audience's head, it's a lot harder for me to relate. It's not "You kids get off my lawn!" so much as "Wow, I need to figure out how to get with it."

    Look at me, adulting all over the place.

    Anyway, here are a few more random notes from the con for my own future reference:

    • Needed more business cards. Usually people don't want 'em. This time I ran out. Go fig. I also need cards WITH THE COMIC ON THEM.

    • The more "general geekdom" buttons moved better than the furry ones. Again, go fig. Gaming jokes and the snarky buttons were the order of the day.

    • As issues and button designs build up, table real estate is becoming a real issue. I was seriously encroaching on Sirfie's space this time, even tho he was very gracious about it. Is there some kind of vertical display option for the buttons? And I need to take that magazine rack.

    • The "beachy decor" effect of the crates is lost when they're just covered up with signs and displays anyway. Some kind of lighter and easier-to-tote display is required.

    • Standing poster! Instead of the full-size Tiffany banner, free-standing poster displays are more effective and probably easier to schlep around, while still creating a high-impact look. Smaller banners that could hang on the display (a la LizardBeth's banner) are also a good option. The chalkboards/whiteboards are still good options as well but will need some way to be mountable. (The velcro works on the crates, but will it work on wire displays?)

    • How do I improve my at-the-table art so I can charge more? I'm almost never happy with my real media work and feel cheesy charging rates that make the time invested worth it. Short of taking laptop, tablet, and inkjet printer to the con to do digital art at the table, how do I address this?

    • AnthroCon's dealer room has become so immense and diffused. I get lost in the crowd! Would I do better at smaller cons?

    BronyCon and... Blugh!
    Usually after a con I tend to have a period I refer to as "con bounce," where I'm all excited and energized and I want to Do All the Things! This time, alas, not so much, or at least, what there is, has been delayed. The week immediately following the con was largely spent recuperating, which I blame mostly on the heat, bad sleep, and gimping around Pittsburgh on a broken toe. I was mostly better by Friday, but [ profile] lythandra came down with a nasty stomach bug and was incommunicado while a very kind fan came over and dropped a crazy gaming rig on my head.

    On Saturday, Laurie was feeling better so we headed over to Baltimore to do a bit of ghosting at BronyCon. I have somewhat mixed feelings about "brony" fandom generally, but I gotta say I was much more impressed by this one than by the last one I attended. Nevertheless, the trip was draining for both of us– Laurie because she was recovering from her stomach bug, and me because... well, I was coming down with her stomach bug. -.-

    Sunday's activities are best left without elaboration. Suffice to say it was not a good day, and now I need to eat some yogurt. ¬.¬

    Do All the Things!
    So yesterday and today are all about recovery, and reclaiming my con bounce. And just in time, too, 'cos I have to do All the Things. Look at all the things I have to do!

    1. Play of the Game Badges: RJ, Salen, Snowdrift, Jell-O Blue, Gryphon_2.

    2. Other Post-Con Commissions: Lia, Redliox

    3. Write issue five

    4. Continue marketing Sky Pirates (six rejections down, ____ to go)

    5. Come up with and start writing another book

    6. Get my medical insurance sorted (again)

    7. Get followup x-rays on my toe

    8. Find some way to get D&D happening again

    9. Mail Kamau's power strip back to him

    ...And that's just Tuesday. ¬.¬

    Okay, I exaggerate, some of that can go to Wednesday if it has to. ¬.¬

    Point is, I've got a lot to do, and I can't do it if I'm a) lying around listening to my insides gurgle, or b) moping. So that con bounce is badly needed!

    Where My Ponies At?
    A vaguely-related thread to some of the points made above is a seismic shift taking place in the TwitterPonies and pony fandom generally. Every fandom has a life cycle, and as the show "finishes" more and more threads, a certain sense of "winding down" becomes inevitable. I have many thoughts and feelings about this, which I am going to have to let brew for another post, I think. But I will say that one of the reasons I have been cultivating other interests (e.g., Overwatch) is that I think we are nearing the point where MLP is going to return to its pre-FIM status as one of the many quiescent-but-everpresent "background fandoms" like Lion King or Sailor Moon, except a little more prominently than its previous standing... at least until the 2021 reboot.

    C'est la vie!

    -The Gneech

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